HARLINGEN — Valley soccer fans already know that Harlingen South’s Klarissa Gonzalez and Brownsville Paces’ KryssieRivera have been a force for their respective high school teams.
What they may not know, however, is that the pair is also a force for the Houston Dynamo STX GU17 club team as well.
The club is something both girls have been involved with for the past four years and are the only players on the team from the east end of the Rio Grande Valley.
Recently Gonzalez and Rivera, along with 14 other teammates from the McAllen area, traveled to College Station where the club won the Presidents Cup and qualified for nationals, which will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on July 17.
“Thanks to God we have made it this far and we are all really proud of ourselves, and all the hard work we have put it in to make it this far,” said Gonzalez. “It means a lot to be able to make it to nationals because we are the first team from the Rio GrandeValley to make it this far and we are trying to punch through, and win nationals not just for ourselves but for the Valley and the club.”
“I feel it’s an honor to represent my family and the Valley and its entirety,” added Rivera. “It’s an opportunity to show the rest of the country that the Valley is filled with talent. Even though we don’t have as many resources, we can still succeed and overcome many obstacles.”
The Dynamo STX earned the trip to nationals after defeating some top teams from Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas and the NorthTexas regions. They shut out the MandevilleLakers (from Louisiana) 5-0 before grabbing two close 2-1 victories over Florida’s Warner ASG and Oklahoma’s OFC 99 White.
Afterward the team defeated the DallasTexans in penalty kicks 4-3 to advance into the finals where they eventually secured a place at nationals with a 5-0 win over the Searcy Storm from Arkansas.
“I have been playing soccer since I was 4 years old,” said Gonzalez. “I’ve never been this far with any team, but it’s all because of God we are on the road to nationals and we ready to show everyone that the Rio Grande Valley has a bunch of talent.”